Category Archives: Search and Seizures

Electronic Surveillance Under Federal Law: Criminal Defense Considerations in 2021 

Discussion of federal wire-tapping and other electronic surveillance from a criminal defense perspective The temptation for federal law enforcement to use developing communication technologies in order to investigate potential criminal activity is not new.  In fact, as soon as telegraphs and telephones began to be used by the general public in this country, federal agents were…


Encounters with Law Enforcement: A Criminal Defense Perspective

Seven Steps to Take When Police Show Up at Your Home or Work or Call You on the Phone More and more often, I pick up the phone to hear someone wondering what to do after local police or some other member of law enforcement (e.g., agents of the FBI, DEA, etc.) has surprised them…


Fraudulent Use or Possession Charges in Texas: Identity Theft and Fake Credit Cards

The popularity of online shopping continues to increase in no small part due to the Coronavirus Pandemic.  See, “Americans Keep Clicking to Buy, Minting New Online Shopping Winners,” written by Nathaniel Popper and published by the New York Times on May 1, 2020.  Along with it, opportunities abound for illegally accessing things like credit card…


Challenging the Search Warrant in Texas: Illegal Search and Seizure

Different Defenses to Search Warrants and Illegal Searches by the Police Evidence is everything for the prosecution’s case in any criminal proceeding, federal or state.  Without evidence, the case has no legal foundation and cannot be filed.  Once filed, insufficient evidence means the state’s case must be dismissed. Therefore, from a criminal defense perspective, one…


Search of a Residence in Texas: When Police Search Your Home

When the police search your dwelling, they have specific limitations on where they can search and what they can take. Police officers (or federal law enforcement agents) show up at your front door, demanding to be allowed inside your home because they have a search warrant allowing them to do so, whether you like it…


Exigent Circumstances: What They Are and How They Allow Police to Search and Seize Without a Warrant

There are times when police officers in Texas can search without a search warrant; sometimes they don’t even have to knock on the door before entering your home. Sitting in the comfort of your living room, you may assume you’re safe from intrusion by the police.  Surely they can’t barge into your private home, uninvited…


Latest Forfeiture Ruling by SCOTUS: What Does It Mean for Texas Criminal Defense?

Timbs v. Indiana is the first step in ending state-wide forfeiture abuse In an opinion written by Justice Ginsburg with two concurrences filed by Justice Gorsuch and Justice Thomas, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) vacated and remanded the judgment of the Indiana Supreme Court in Timbs v. Indiana on February 20, 2019….


Illegal Search Warrants: Challenging the Underlying Affidavit

Texas Defense Attorney Strategies against Illegal Search Warrants Under Texas law, a “search warrant” is defined as “a written order, issued by a magistrate and directed to a peace officer, commanding him to search for any property or thing and to seize the same and bring it before such magistrate or commanding him to search…


What is a Protective Sweep?

More on Police Entering and Searching Your Home without a Warrant Police officers cannot enter your home willy-nilly.  They have to get a judge’s okay that there is “probable cause” to come inside your place, documented in a “search warrant” signed by that judge which they show you when they come inside.  We’ve discussed various…


When Police Enter Your Home (Or the FBI and ICE) Here in Texas

The Fourth Amendment protects you in the privacy of your home.  In the United States, police cannot enter your home whenever they choose to do so (unlike some other countries).  Here, your privacy is constitutionally protected and private citizens can reside safely in their homes without concern for the government busting through the front door….